Wednesday 29 November 2023

Supervisor sleeping on the job

 This is the absolute earliest we have ever put up a Christmas tree. It was son, husband, and myself trimming the tree with Christmas music in the background (complete with the Muppet’s Twelve Days of Christmas, and Bob and Doug Mackenzie’s version as well). Murphy made sure to sprawl out in any space where we needed to go but he was a good boy and didn’t attack any ornaments ( yet). 

Here is the final outcome, but I still need to vacuum and put the tree skirt around the bottom. As you can see, my progress is somewhat hampered by a very tired supervisor. I can always vacuum tomorrow. 

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Snow Day / Work Day

 I was scheduled to work this afternoon in a town about 15 minutes away. We have snow squalls in the forecast and this is what it looks like this morning from my porch. 

Pretty isn't it? I got a voicemail from the VP at that same school wondering if I could come in the whole day. On snow days, here, it just means that the buses are cancelled, but a ton of kids still show up at school. Parents bring them in. Even the parents who do not have gainful employment. I let the VP know that I would likely give it a go but couldn't promise I would be there right at 9:00 on the dot. She was fine with any time that I could make it. I think I'll be fine, I'll just chug along carefully. I'm not sure if the roads have been sufficiently cleared yet, (I can't tell from my house) but this is nothing new. It's also about visibility if it really starts to blow. Ahhhh, here we go. 

Edited to add:  Oh well, the whole thing has been cancelled. She got enough people to come in and the meeting that took the teacher out this afternoon (for whom I was supplied to be filling in) was cancelled. It might be a good day to start Christmas decorating, or baking. 

Monday 27 November 2023

Early Tree

 When I was out picking up a few things, one of them being a bag of chicken feed at the local "co-op", I thought I should check the prices of Christmas trees. There was one year when we waited too long to get a tree and everywhere was completely sold out. Of course, I am talking about real trees, usually spruce or balsam. Well, the price of everything has gone up and I just about died when I saw the prices - $79, $90, and up! 

So, we did a search online and found a couple of places to cut your own tree. We have NEVER gotten a Christmas tree in the month of November, ever. But, with daughter and future son-in-law not being around for actual Christmas and our mini-pre-Christmas scheduled for December 16, I've been thinking of the holiday in advance. Our son has a big truck, so off we all went to the first place. Unfortunately, the trees were spindly and hadn't really been trimmed properly over the years. We left without a tree. Then we drove further to the second location. These people knew how to do things! 

That's husband walking through the many, many lovely fat trees. Every tree was $60 regardless of the size. There were so many more that I just didn't get a picture of. Look at that beautiful ridge in the distance. It was a stunning property.

That is son carrying one of the sleds they provide so you can drag your tree back to where you parked. Look at all the trees from which to choose! And there were little trees already planted where previous ones had been cut down.

Here is son in the midst of sawing the tree. 

Ta Da!! It's a good tree! Son is pulling it on the sled. There were many other people and families with children who were so excited and you could hear them shouting, "How about this one!" It started to snow thick wet snow on the drive home and it is still on the ground now. The tree isn't set up in the house set, it is sitting in the cold in our car port. 

Do you have a real tree? How much do you spend on yours?

Friday 24 November 2023

Snowy Day

 I woke to a white world. It is very pretty and makes me feel very festive. I'm not sure if I'm festive enough to start dragging out boxes of Christmas decor and "decking the halls", but I did have a look at my baking supplies to see what I need to pick up for some Christmas baking (maybe this weekend?).

Scenes from my morning chicken chores. It's the first time most of the hens have witnessed snow. I don't think any of them have bravely ventured out yet.

I finished a book in about two days. This is from a series of books about the "Thursday Murder Club". It is not high brow literature and I have enjoyed every one so far! I highly recommend, but they are best if read in order. 

I imagine some of you are recovering from Thanksgiving and others, like me, are getting used to the idea that our snow is likely here to stay now (rest of the week looks like more to come). Have you started to decorate for the season? Do you bother anymore? Will you be baking or buying? Let's not even talk about shopping.

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Catching Up and Possibly Helping Someone

 I can't believe it is November 21st already. I know that my American friends are gearing up for Thanksgiving, which is always baffling to me, as we had ours way back in October. I feel like I'm gearing up for Christmas, and couldn't imagine also having to juggle Thanksgiving in the midst! 

I have not had too many teaching days (Covid causing me to essentially cancel a week's worth, and my procedure also meaning I couldn't book anything around this time). I just got notification that two days running at a lovely school that I hardly ever get into have been cancelled. That made me sad, as I was quite looking forward to making connections at that school.

I have started a wee bit of Christmas shopping already. I have been a bit anxious about that because this year I need to have some gifts purchased earlier (and have some baking done earlier, and some decorating done earlier) because my daughter and her fiance (I can say that now!) are going to his grandparents' and other relatives way up in Thunder Bay (Ontario) for the holidays. So we will have a little gathering and gift exchange prior to that (I'm thinking December 16th). It will be very odd when the actual Christmas rolls around to not have them here, but I know we have been very fortunate to have both of our kids close by and here for holidays up until now! Not everyone can say that.  My one brother has a twin daughter living in British Columbia, and my sister has a daughter living in New York, so yes, we are very fortunate. 

On the weekend, the weather was cooperating, so I went around the property with clippers in hand and gathered evergreen boughs to put into our two big iron urns on the little front porch. I went for a little walk past our property along a seasonal stream where I used to be able to gather armloads of red dogwood branches, but this year I barely found any. It was enough to create some colour in the middle of the urns, though. Later today, I shall drive into town to our local Dollerama and purchase some cheap and cheerful large sprigs of bright red berries to finish the project. Son helped me string the lights along our rail fence on Sunday so all that needs doing is for husband to round up the extension cords and nifty mechanism for the remote to turn the lights on and off when desired. 

Husband is still fighting the Covid effects. He is testing negative (as we all are), but his fatigue and cough remain. He is usually the much better healer of us two, but this time around, he's having a hard time shaking it, and is extremely frustrated as he has a big list of things he was wanting to take care of right now. Oh well, they shall have to wait. 

So now comes the part where I may assist someone. I am always a person who is quite fearful leading up to medical procedures, so I thought I would allay the fears of anyone who is like me and has to have the "dreaded colonoscopy". Don't dread it. I just had mine yesterday. First of all the prep for me was different than silly videos I watched on TikTok. I did not have huge jugs of foul tasting solution that I had to consume. Instead I had a little package of orange flavoured powder that I mixed with water which I had to consume, along with six to eight glasses of water, spaced about 15 minutes apart. I did that twice. Due to when my procedure was to take place, I had to waken at 5:00 a.m. for the second round of the orange solution. The day before the procedure, I could drink clear juice (I had apple), Gatorade or similar sports drink (not red or purple colours), broth ( I had chicken, warmed up, and it was nice), black coffee or tea, and jello (again, no red or purple, so I made lemon, lime and orange and only ate the lemon and a tiny bit of lime). I did not feel starving or deprived at all. The morning of was only water (and the orange concoction). In terms of what it did to my digestive tract, it was very manageable and not terrible and I was able to get some sleep at night, as well. 

The day of the procedure (which was yesterday), husband dropped me off at the small hospital in which it was to take place. I went to day surgery and sat around for a while. Then I went to a little room off of the day surgery waiting room where I dressed in the ubiquitous hospital gown and robe and was given an i.v. (that honestly was the worst part as the nurse had a heck of a time getting it in a vein and a second nurse had to step in, but maybe if you have nice hefty veins it won't be a problem). I waited around some more, then I was walked down to the room where I was to have the procedure done. There were lovely nurses and the doctor who chatted casually with me, I was even able to leave my socks on, and then ... nothing. I remember nothing after that. I woke up in a different area feeling like I had just had the most lovely sleep ever. I was in no pain whatsoever. I felt like I just wanted to cuddle down and sleep some more. I was given a nice little glass of ice water that felt like heaven, the doctor reassured me that he saw nothing that looked like cancer and that he took some little biopsies and that we would have an appointment again in a few weeks, and then I was given back my clothes and dressed in a different area. Someone called my husband to come pick me up and away I went. I was still a little drowsy and a little unsteady for a bit and fell asleep on the couch for a while (until the cat woke me up, thanks Murph). 

This morning, the morning after, I have zero pain, zero issues. I can eat whatever and it doesn't bother me. I'm glad to have a day not teaching, just because I feel like I'm still catching up on a bit of sleep, but all in all, it is nothing to be feared (just hope for a talented i.v. nurse) and the "sleep" is delightful. Hope that helps someone. 

Tomorrow the vehicle (I drive an older model Toyota Rav 4 and love it) has to be taken in for an undercoating and hopefully the guys can have a look at it and determine why it is making an annoying squeaky sound (husband has some theories, but obviously right now can't really be fixing it himself). Fingers crossed that it isn't ridiculously expensive, but honestly, that vehicle has been very good, with just general maintenance required over the years.

 'Tis windy, cold, rainy today with a possible high of 6 degrees (that's 42 in fahrenheit - which means nothing to me). What's funny is husband and I are two years apart. Celsius and various other metric teachings in school started when I was in the younger grades. Husband had already had imperial measurements firmly embedded in his brain by then. He is still very comfortable thinking in miles per hour and fahrenheit temperatures (even sets our thermometer for our heat in the house in fahrenheit), but it is meaningless to me. 

It shall be a quiche night tonight in an effort to use some eggs! Have a lovely day, everyone. 

Monday 13 November 2023

November 13, 2023

 This past week has been unforeseen. I was supposed to be working a week at my old school, something I was looking forward to. Unfortunately we caught Covid - for the first time after our Toronto adventure helping our friends with the Royal Winter Fair. I had a relatively mild dose, feeling better in a few days, but still having to cancel my teaching that week. Son was barely symptomatic and only took three days off of work. Husband had it the worst and still has a cough and not much energy. Oh well, that’s how it goes.

Today was “ mild” so I took advantage of the day and got out my loppers and cut back most of the shrubs along the pool fence. This is something I really wanted to get done and I’m glad I did it. I was tired by the time I had carried all the branches away! I have three days of teaching this week. Then I get to prep for a colonoscopy a week from today. Yippy! I’ll be glad when that’s done, although I know it’s not a big scary thing, but not something you want to be participating in often!

I was feeling like I wanted to disinfect the house after all the coughing and sneezing. I cleaned counter tops and mopped floors and disinfected doorknobs and the tv remote! I’m sure I’ll do it all over again but it felt good to do that to begin with! 

Have a good week my blogging friends! 

Saturday 4 November 2023

Beginning of November

 I went for a walk today and it is pleasantly not too cold. I like my walks, it is my thinking time, my talking in my head time. Other people listen to books or podcasts or music while walking. I prefer the quiet. 

We just returned from helping our dear friends for three days to set up their huge booth (more like a giant store) in Toronto at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. It is a big deal and goes for ten days I believe. We were only there during the designated set up days, so we did not have a chance to see the shows or exhibits or tour through all the many vendors and eating areas. People come from all across our big country bring the best of their best livestock, anything from beef cattle to dairy cattle to pigs, sheep, chickens, rabbits, alpacas, you name it. I hope our friends have fantastic success with their tack business this coming week.

I'm just throwing this out there, as when I shared about my breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment, many of you had your own stories to share, which made me feel very good indeed. Now I am experiencing a side effect of taking the A.I. (which prohibits estrogen from being produced), that being significant hair thinning. Nobody warns you about this one. It is distressing, as I have always enjoyed caring for and styling my hair over the years. I did a bit of research and found out that manoxidil (the ingredient in Rogaine which is often used by men who are experiencing hair loss) can possibly help. This is not a result of chemo, as I did not have to have chemo. This is a result of the prescription that I am to be on for ten years (I may decide to not do the full ten years, but as of now, I am on it). So, any relatable tales or suggestions would be welcomed.

On a different note, I gave the girls a treat today. I had three pumpkins on my porch for decoration through October and today I brought one back to the chicken run and cut it apart with a shovel. 

Cautious exploration at first.

Definite interest now.

Not to be forgotten, here is a picture of Murphy in all of his glory. Son was making his work sandwich the night before and playfully tossed a wrapped piece of cheese on Murph's ample belly. He didn't care at all and would have casually laid there, cheese in place, for as long as was necessary.

Murphy isn't the only one with a penchant for lying on his back, underbelly exposed. Here is Scooter.

He is so fluffy it is hard to distinguish where his head is, but you can see one ear. The difference between the two cats is Scooter will adore a belly rub, whereas Murph will only tolerate it for a moment. 

I have a busy two weeks ahead, as I picked up seven consecutive teaching days at my old school, all in the same class. The lovely part about it, other than being in a familiar setting, is the teacher who will be away is the one to plan everything. I just have to execute the plan. Nice. 

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend, everybody!